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"The 33"-Road Bike Racing We set this forum up for our members to discuss their experiences in either pro or amateur racing, whether they are the big races, or even the small backyard races. Don't forget to update all the members with your own race results.

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Old 03-21-09, 12:17 PM   #1
tchap27
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Jump into a race or watch first

Hey I've been riding a few years and decided that I need to try racing at least once. I was thinking about getting a day license and doing one race this season. However, I have never seen a criterium in person and was wondering if it is too much to just jump into a reace without having watched one in person. Im comfortable in a pack but I dont think I should race without having been to one. So how much race watching did you guys do before you signed up and rode your first race?
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Old 03-21-09, 01:52 PM   #2
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by all means watch videos of races.. but entering a race will learn you good and fast! better to do fast group training rides... not sure where you're from, but in cali you can easily find training rides that are as fast or faster than cat5 races.. the most important thing to learn to do is hang onto wheels even if you're maxed out and dying.. don't let little gaps form, or else you'll have to fight really really hard to get back into the draft or you'll just get dropped. also be safe, when you're a newbie and you're experiencing a new level of suffering, it's easy to make poor decisions and mess things up, try not to cause a pile up.
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Old 03-21-09, 01:59 PM   #3
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You won't learn anything by watching, jump in and race but chances are you'll get spit out the back pretty quick, especially in a crit.
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Old 03-21-09, 02:11 PM   #4
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Watch one.
If your vision of a bike race is based on what you've seen on TV, you're in for a shock.

And going on a fast training ride is not a criterium.
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Old 03-21-09, 02:46 PM   #5
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Thanks for the advice given so far. Also, will the difficulty of the races progress a lot over the season? Or would it be just as difficult for me to race now as in say August. By the way I live in the Boston area.
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Old 03-21-09, 02:57 PM   #6
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My advice is don't watch a Cat 5 crit first. You may never race if you do that.
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Old 03-21-09, 03:11 PM   #7
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Watch CDR's helmetcam videos on YouTube.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HlgGkR6itdc

This way you're watching from on top of the bike and inside the pack.

Nothing replaces experience, but I picked up a lot from observing and learning from several sources. They helped me visualize my first race (and I did extremely well).
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Old 03-21-09, 03:39 PM   #8
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Watching track races, however, are a pretty good way to start to understand bike racing.
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Old 03-21-09, 09:52 PM   #9
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Don't think too much about it. Just race. You'll probably be dropped in the first race you do.
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Old 03-21-09, 10:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mollusk View Post
My advice is don't watch a Cat 5 crit first. You may never sleep if you do that.
fixed. the nightmares.
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